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It is possible to create star trails with clouds. If the clouds are relatively insubstantial (thin) and are moving along, the star trails will still come out…and if the clouds are lit up by the setting sun, light pollution, or something else, they can make for some colorful night sky images.
Title: Pine Mountain Star Trails
Photographer: Ken Lee
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Feisol tripod. This is a long exposure night sky photo of 23 and a half minutes in total, with each individual photo exposed for 30 seconds at f/2.8 ISO 800, stacked “by hand” in CS4. I did light paint the tall pine tree with a Streamlight LED flashlight but then decided it looked better without it and got rid of that frame. Photo begun probably about 8:40 pm D.S.T. on 23 November 2013.
Location: Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple, Maricopa, Callifornia, USA
Equipment: Nikon D7000, Tokina AT-X 116, Feisol tripod.
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You can see more of these photos here on my Ken Lee Photography Facebook Page (poke your head in, say hi, and “like” the page if you would, uh, like). We discuss long exposure, night sky, star trails, and coastal long exposure photography, as well as lots of other things, so I hope you can join us!